Mister, Mister: A Novel
A blazingly propulsive novel from the prize-winning author of In Our Mad and Furious City, following a captured jihadist and poet-preacher as he recounts his path to international notoriety
Who is Yahya Bas? Revolutionary poet, notorious jihadist, misbegotten son, self-styled idiot-boy. When the enigmatic Yahya finds himself languishing in a detention center after fleeing the conflict in Syria, he has many questions to face.
What was he doing in the desert? Why did he betray his home country? What led him to write the incendiary verses that launched him into international infamy? Mister, his interrogator, wants answers. So Yahya resolves to tell his own story, in his own words, and on his own terms.
Mister, Mister is what follows: a coming-of-age story of radical self-invention, a quest for a long-lost father, and a discovery of another way to live in the shadow of war. Brash, biting, yet ultimately tender and bracingly imaginative, Mister, Mister follows a child of the tumultuous 90s and the ravaged aughts as he becomes the unwitting voice of a generation.
Who is Yahya Bas? An anti-hero for our modern era, in which we've just begun to survey the wreckage of the West's forever-wars.
Praise for Mister, Mister: A Novel
"Brilliantly evocative of the effects of recent horrors many people are all-too keen to forget, Gunaratne’s latest affirms that they are a writer with a unique voice and a magnificent ear for dialogue."